ACC Bubble Analysis for January 18, 2015


A couple of ACC teams made some real positive moves this week… find out who below.

In my ranking system, any RPI top (100) win is a good win and any RPI top (50) obviously worth more. Any losses outside the RPI top (100) is considered a bad loss, and outside the RPI (150) are even more damaging. I’m not counting future results only if I think a team would make the NCAA’s if selections were made the day of the post.

Teams get a “*” for top 50 good wins or “*” greater 150 losses.

My RPI rankings come from, CBSSportsline.com.

This is going to be a weekly article, where I seed the ACC teams where I think they’d placed if the tournament started the same day as my posting.


(2) Virginia (17-0) (5-0) Projected Seed 1

Last 10 – (10-0)

Good Wins – * (4) VCU, * (13) Maryland, *(41) George Washington, (57) Harvard, * (38) NC State, * (40) Notre Dame, * (49) Davidson, (99) LaSalle, (75) Rutgers (51) Miami, (77) Clemson

Bad Losses – None

Notes – Virginia had a couple more double digit wins this week over Clemson and Boston College. This is an elite team, that won’t be pressed until a January 31 game with Duke. Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech are this week. Good luck to those teams in their quest to break 50 against the Hoos.

(8) Duke (15-3) (3-2) Projected Seed 2

Last 10 – (8-2)

Good Wins – * (9) Wisconsin, * (37) Michigan St., *(27) Stanford,  (53) Temple, (74) UCONN, * (46) Wofford, * (28) Louisville

Bad Losses  – None

Notes – Reports of the demise of the Duke Blue Devils have been greatly exaggerated. Facing a three game losing streak right in the face as they headed to Louisville, Duke responded with one of their best performances of the year winning on the road against the Cardinals. Miami’s guards had their way at Duke in a loss for the Blue Devils, but Duke is still a team capable of the Final 4. Pittsburgh and St. Johns are this week.

(12) North Carolina (14-4) (4-1) Projected Seed 4

Last 10 – (8-2)

Good Wins – (86) North Carolina Central, * (49) Davidson, (56) Ohio State, * (28) Louisville, (72) Florida, (66) UCLA, * (38) NC State, (77) Clemson, (88) William & Mary

Bad Losses – NONE

Notes – North Carolina is quietly playing some very good basketball. This week was solid win at NC State and a comfortable win over Virginia Tech. Other than a 1 point loss to Notre Dame, the Heels haven’t lost since Dec 13. The Heels need to watch their game at Wake Forest. The Deacs have been close to pulling an upset in recent weeks. Reeling FSU is later in the week.

(40) Notre Dame 17-2 (5-1) Projected Seed 4

Last 10 – (9-1)

Good Wins – * (37) Michigan St, (56) UMASS, (89) Georgia Tech, * (12) UNC, (51) Miami, (89) Georgia Tech

Bad Losses – None

Notes – Notre Dame got a scare this week when it looked like big man Zach Auguste looked like he could miss extended time. Notre Dame got it worked out, and the Irish continue to roll. Two road games are on the schedule this Virginia Tech and NC State.

(28) Louisville (15-3) (3-2) Projected Seed 5

Last 10 – (7-3)

Good Wins – (56) Ohio State (60) Long Beach State, (58) Indiana, (73) Western Kentucky, (77) Clemson, (97) Minnesota

Bad Losses – None

Notes – Anyone else noticing that Louisville is 0-3 against the three best teams they have played (Duke, Kentucky, UNC)? Losing to Duke at home, raises some concerns that the Cardinals as good as they are may have an Elite 8 type ceiling. Tricky games at Pittsburgh and Boston College are this week.

(38) NC State (13-6) (4-2) Projected Seed 8

Last 10 – (5-5)

Good Wins – (65) Boise St., (71) Pittsburgh, * (50) Tennessee, * (8) Duke, (79) Richmond, (100) Louisiana Tech

Bad Losses – (103) Purdue

Notes – NC State couldn’t get a home win over UNC, but they did go on the road and win at Florida State. NC State’s schedule this week is tough. They head to Miami, and get Notre Dame at home. A split will keep NC State off the bubble.

Bubble But In

(51) Miami (12-5) (2-2) Projected Seed 10

Last 10 – (5-5)

Good Wins – (54) Illinois, (72) Florida, * (8) Duke

Bad Losses – (133) Eastern Kentucky

Notes – Miami got a great resume building with an impressive 16 point win at Duke. The played well at Notre Dame, but lost 75-70. This is a NCAA tournament caliber team, but I’d like to see the Canes get a couple of more top 50 wins. A home game with NC State and then the Canes hit the road to Syracuse. A split is a must.

(55) Syracuse (13-5) (4-1) Projected Seed 11

Last 10 – (8-2)

Good Wins – * (43) Iowa, (60) Long Beach State, (89) Georgia Tech, (100) Louisiana Tech

Bad Losses –  (120) California

Notes – Syracuse  is 4-1 in the ACC, but they suffered a damaging loss this week. A 13 point loss at Clemson is not what a bubble team needs. This week is critical for the Orange. They host Boston College, and then dangerous Miami comes to Syracuse. I would advise Syracuse to win both, because looking down the schedule 5 of the last 7 games are against top 12 teams. Syracuse needs to load up on wins now.

Bubble But Out

(71) Pittsburgh (12-5) (3-2) 

Last 10 – (8-2)

Good Wins – (89) Georgia Tech, (96) Kansas State

Bad Losses –  (209) Hawaii

Notes – Pittsburgh stays on the fringe of the bubble by beating both FSU and Georgia Tech at home this week. The Panthers need marquee wins though. The top 100 win over Georgia Tech, won’t remain there with the Jackets slipping into irrelevance. This is a big week for Pitt. A win at Duke isn’t likely, but as Miami proved it can be done. Then Pitt hosts Louisville. The Panthers really need a split this week.

(77) Clemson (10-7) (2-3) 

Last 10 – (6-4)

Good Wins – * (48) LSU, * (29) Arkansas, (71) Pittsburgh, (55) Syracuse, (78) High Point

Bad Losses – * (280) Winthrop, (102) Gardner-Webb, (109) South Carolina

Notes – Didn’t I tell you to keep an eye on Clemson’s game with Syracuse? The Tigers got a big win, after the expected loss at UVA. Clemson is going to be an interesting team if they can get to .500 or a little better in the ACC. They have nice set of non-conference wins over LSU and Arkansas. With Florida State and Wake Forest this week at home, the Tigers have a chance to a get a more serious look next week.

Only if they win the ACC Tournament

(89) Georgia Tech (9-8) (0-5) 

Last 10 – (3-7)

Good Wins – (82) Rhode Island, * (26) Georgia

Bad Losses – * (203) USC-Upstate, (113) Marquette, (135) Wake Forest

Notes – It may be time to close the book on the Brian Gregory era at Georgia Tech. After 4 years with Gregory, this program is no better than when he arrived. For a brief moment this year the Jackets look improved, but an 0-5 ACC started has ended any post-season hopes. At Virginia will be ugly this week, and then mark your calendars for next Sunday’s matchup with fellow ACC  winless team Boston College.

(129) Boston College (8-8) (0-4)

Last 10 – (5-5)

Good Wins – * (22) Providence, (92) New Mexico, (55) Harvard

Bad Losses – (132) USC

Notes – Boston College actually picked up a pretty good win over Harvard this week, and they played pretty well for about 30 minutes against Virginia. There are two road games this week against Syracuse and Georgia Tech and it wouldn’t surprise me if BC stole one those games.

(160) Florida State (9-9) (1-4) 

Last 10 – (5-5)

Good Wins – (72) Florida

Bad Losses – (119) Nebraska, (218) Mississippi St.

Notes – This is the worst Florida State team in a decade. You have to wonder as good as Leonard Hamilton has been, if his best days there are behind him there. This will be the third straight year the Noles will have missed the NCAAs. Road games at Clemson and UNC are this week.

(135) Wake Forest (9-9) (1-4)

Last 10 – (5-5)

Good Wins – (89) Georgia Tech, (79) Richmond

Bad Losses –  (198) Delaware St.

Notes – Wake Forest lost at Syracuse this week, but they played really well and nearly knocked off the Orange. The Deacs are a team you don’t really want to face right now. This is a rapidly improving bunch. They host UNC this week then head to Clemson.

(248) Virginia Tech (8-9) (0-4)

Last 10 – (4-6)

Good Wins – None

Bad Losses – * (284) Appalachian St., * (182) Radford, * (160) FSU, (104) Penn State

Notes – The Hokies play hard, but they are just undermanned. They lost at Louisville and UNC this week. Next week isn’t much better with Notre Dame and Virginia on the schedule. Those are at home though. The Hokies may make one of the games a little closer than expected.

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